KVH’s Low-profile, In-motion Satellite TV Antenna Makes Over 155 Channels of DIRECTV Service the Must-have Option for the Conversion Van Market
MIDDLETOWN, RI – January 19, 2006 – There’s point A. There’s point B. Then there’s the point where people decide to make their time on the road more enjoyable. It used to be that you needed an RV to relax and enjoy the luxuries of home while you were on the road, but that’s changing. Or rather, that’s converting. The conversion van industry is busy transforming dreams into customized reality in low-clearance vehicles, and satellite TV continues to top the list of luxury options. Thanks to its award-winning TracVision® A5 satellite TV system, KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) is there at every turn, making sure that conversion van owners enjoy premium entertainment wherever they drive.
Mobile environments that mirror home or office are in steady demand and conversion van companies have filled the niche by adapting to the needs of their customers. The way people think about conversion vans has changed dramatically and the availability of mobile entertainment and satellite TV has contributed greatly to the change. According to Rod McSweeney, president of the Conversion Van Marketing Association (CVMA) and chief executive officer of Southern Comfort Conversion, Inc., “A van with satellite TV is the best of both worlds. You get the easy driving and handling and still, you don’t miss a thing on TV.”
The CVMA provides for their members by recognizing trends in the conversion van industry. “We’ve seen a steady demand for satellite TV,” McSweeney continued. “With height at a premium, KVH’s TracVision A5 has the low-profile quality our high-end customers want. It’s the reason we use it. And I see the demand for satellite TV staying steady for a long time to come.”
KVH’s TracVision A5 is a low-profile satellite TV system designed specifically for passenger vehicles. With KVH’s proprietary hybrid phased-array technology, it is a sleek aftermarket accessory mounted to the roof rack or as a conversion van outfitters’ factory option – either way, mobile satellite TV is a popular reality. The award-winning TracVision A5 has been available in the aftermarket for more than two years at retail locations around the United States and comes with exclusive access to DIRECTV’s TOTAL CHOICE® MOBILE programming. In 2005, Cadillac announced that it had approved the TracVision A5 as an aftermarket accessory to be sold through its dealers nationwide, and Avis Rent a Car is offering the TracVision A5 and DIRECTV® service on Hummer® H3s based in Phoenix, Arizona.
One reason KVH’s TracVision A5 remains a favorite, is that it delivers what it promises – in-motion satellite TV. Dealers know it. Technicians know it. Better yet, it assures the customer of KVH quality and reliability. Explorer Vans, “America’s Van” for more than 20 years and one of the largest conversion van companies in the country, has the TracVision A5 low-profile satellite TV antenna as a luxury option in their elite “X Model” trim package for new vehicles. “Dealers find the TracVision A5 a great addition to the luxury items they already offer their customers,” said Spencer Shilling, quality manager for Explorer Vans.
Industry analyst Frost & Sullivan projects that by 2011, more than 3 million vehicles will be equipped with mobile satellite TV systems. No one knows this better than the sales people and technicians in the conversion van business. “Our customers are constantly asking us now for satellite TV,” said Chuck Golson, engineering manager at Southern Comfort Conversions, leaders in the conversion van business and upfitters for the GMC division of General Motors. “I know KVH is the first to give us a reliable system for satellite TV and the technology for acquiring and maintaining a signal is the best!”
The possibilities for conversion vans – the amenities, the indulgences, the little luxuries – are often limited by two things: money and imagination. When you have plenty of both and the talent to do the work, you see examples of conversion vans that have gone to the extreme. Media mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is no stranger to “extreme.” He paired up recently with Automotive Intellect (AI) Design outside New York City for a $350,000 retrofit for his Chevy Express 3500. Bling? Try six satellite-fitted plasma televisions fit for a king. KVH and AI Design have worked closely over the years and the folks at AI have observed the growing demand for the TracVision A5 and DIRECTV service from the front seat. “These guys are doing back flips over this stuff,” exclaimed AI Design’s Dan Whitmire. “We have a really hard time keeping TracVision A5s in stock…and it’s unbelievably easy to install. We haven’t run into a single problem.”
Not to be outdone, the TracVision A5 and DIRECTV service add that extra touch to the already luxurious vehicles created by the team at California-based Becker Automotive Design. Profiled in the January 16, 2006, issue of BusinessWeek, one of the newest Becker Automotive creations – the JetVan – offers the comfort of a long wheelbase Sprinter passenger van with amenities ranging from the TracVision A5 to leather seats, widescreen TVs, pinpoint LED lighting, and mobile Internet connections. The result – a stylish, rolling office with the amenities of a private jet.
“We have seen a strong demand among our customers for live news, entertainment, and sports in the vehicles we design and customize,” said Troy Becker, marketing director for Becker Automotive Design. “The vehicles we build are extensions of our clients’ homes and offices and they want access to the same services when they’re on the road. The combination of the TracVision A5 and DIRECTV service is a great solution, keeping our customers entertained virtually anywhere they drive.”
Additional information regarding KVH’s line of TracVision systems is available at http://www.tracvision.com.
KVH Industries, Inc., is the leading provider of in-motion satellite systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold nearly 100,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on boats, RVs, trucks, buses and automobiles. Winner of the prestigious General Motors Innovative Design Award, CES Innovation Award, and a finalist for the Automotive News PACE Award, KVH’s mission is to connect mobile customers with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their home and offices.
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH’s products and technology; anticipated innovation and product development; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, our dependence on the availability of third-party satellites, which face significant operational risks and could fail earlier than their expected useful lives, for our mobile satellite communication services, as well as those discussed in KVH’s most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.
KVH and TracVision are registered trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective companies.